\ ˈblanch How to pronounce blanch (audio) \
blanched; blanching; blanches

Definition of blanch

transitive verb

: to take the color out of Age had blanched his hair. : such as
a cooking : to scald or parboil in water or steam in order to remove the skin from, whiten, or stop enzymatic action in (such as food for freezing) blanch the asparagus in salted boiling water
b : to bleach by excluding light blanch the leaves of a plant
c : to make ashen or pale fear blanches the cheek

intransitive verb

: to become white or pale (as from shock or fear) His face blanched with horror. often used figuratively to describe a reaction of shock or dismay that makes someone unwilling or reluctant to proceed Civilians also saw benefits to the system but blanched when talk then included references to $300-plus user fees.— Dan Fales… the managers of the companies blanched at the expenditures necessary to retool factories.— Charles C. Mann

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from blanch

blancher noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for blanch


bleach, blench, decolorize, dull, fade, pale, snow, wash out, whiten


darken, deepen, embrown

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of blanch in a Sentence

Blanch the potatoes before slicing them. a cup of blanched almonds She blanched and remained silent when the store owner accused her of taking the money.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Green vanilla must be blanched in hot water at a temperature of between 62°C and 64°C within a week of being picked. The Economist, "The murky world of Madagascar’s roaring vanilla trade," 5 July 2019 If your tongue is still a burning fire, there’s hope yet: Cooking the pineapple (grill it, roast it, or even blanch it) can remove most of the enzymes. Sarah Jampel, Bon Appetit, "A Trick That Keeps Pineapple From Burning Your Mouth When You Eat a Ton," 7 Mar. 2018 His fight scenes are often too chaotic, and one scene fetishizes violence so much that Quentin Tarantino might blanch. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Review: ‘Shaft’ is funny and violent, if somewhat flawed," 13 June 2019 His fight scenes are often too chaotic, and one scene fetishizes violence so much that Quentin Tarantino might blanch. Kristen Page-kirby, Twin Cities, "Sequel to blaxploitation classic ‘Shaft’ shifts gears in the age of Uber," 13 June 2019 To make the tartines, blanch the asparagus halves in boiling water for 2 minutes until crisp-tender. Sarah Fritsche, San Francisco Chronicle, "Recipe: Spring Tartines With Herbed Fromage Blanc," 22 Mar. 2018 In his third Slow Food Fast contribution, Mr. Gallina boils the baby spuds and tosses them with blanched green beans (also peaking now) in an herb vinaigrette made with basil and coarse-grain mustard. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, "Potato Salad Plus Star Power," 2 Aug. 2018 Plunge them in the boiling water, and blanch for 30 seconds. Daniel Boulud, ELLE Decor, "Leg of Lamb with Spring Vegetables Recipe," 7 Apr. 2010 The youngest of the Kardashian was spotted yesterday in Calabasas with her blanched chop combed into a neat knot secured at the nape of the neck. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Kylie Jenner Ditches Her Extensions in Favor of the New Power Ponytail," 14 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'blanch.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of blanch

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for blanch

Middle English blaunchen, from Anglo-French blanchir, from blanc, adjective, white — more at blank

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about blanch

Statistics for blanch

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for blanch

The first known use of blanch was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for blanch



English Language Learners Definition of blanch

: to put (food items) in boiling water or steam for a short time
: to suddenly have less color in your face because you are afraid, embarrassed, etc.


\ ˈblanch How to pronounce blanch (audio) \
blanched; blanching

Kids Definition of blanch

2 : to scald so as to remove the skin from Blanch the tomatoes.
3 : to turn pale Sickened by the news, I blanched and turned away.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on blanch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with blanch

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for blanch

Spanish Central: Translation of blanch

Nglish: Translation of blanch for Spanish Speakers

Comments on blanch

What made you want to look up blanch? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


providing supplementary assistance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!